The anti-affordable housing crowd spoke, and the Comprehensive Plan Committee listened. A second draft made numerous changes to the housing section of the document as a result of public input at the first public hearing on the draft in November. Many people, fresh from battles against affordable housing proposals in Glasco and the village, said the plan should make it clear Saugerties favors single-family homes over subsidized housing and rentals.
Revisions to the rental housing section eliminated a reference to “households of less than median income” in a section recommending provision of “a broad range of housing evenly mixed throughout the community for all present and future residents, including young people, families with children and senior citizens.”
Among the implementation strategies, the plan suggests investigation of “methods that promote a broad range of housing development while maintaining a ratio of rental versus ownership and proportion of subsided housing that is consistent with the ratio and proportions of other, similar towns and villages in Ulster County.”
The plan also changes the overall statement of the housing goal, eliminating references to “diversity in housing to appeal to all levels of income, including cluster housing, apartments and well-planned manufactured housing parks.” The updated plan states that “Saugerties should maintain and encourage a variety and diversity in the housing stock in order to accommodate the preferences and needs of current and future residents consistent with the community character as expressed in this plan.”
“People at the [November] meeting made it clear they want a more balanced ratio of private to public housing,” said CPC Chair Patrick Fitzsimmons. “When you do that, you cut out a lot of low-income housing.”
However, the goal of supporting the existing public housing agencies in the town remains in the plan.
Village trustee Jeannine Mayer said the issue was contentious. “Some people didn’t want any low-cost housing,” she said. Others simply felt Saugerties already has enough, and is taking in people from other parts of the county.